As a staffing agency, your business revolves around networking and making positive connections so you can maximize your audience, your traffic, and your potential leads – and that will always require effective but often challenging and time-consuming marketing and outreach efforts.
That said, more often than not, developing marketing strategies can wind up feeling more like a necessary evil than a helpful tool that you can use to your advantage. Why? There are conflicting marketing tools, strategies, and best practices coming out practically every day, and it can be hard to know exactly what information to believe or where to focus the majority of your efforts and resources.
One way to bypass all of the confusion and effectively optimize and amplify your marketing efforts?
Here’s everything you need to know about crowd-marketing, how it works, and how you can use it to improve your business’ marketing and social media efforts today.
The Problem Today: Undereffective and Unfocused Inbound Marketing
In the U.S. alone, there are over 140,000 searches on Google with the intent to find a ‘recruiter.’ The goal, of course, is to appear in at least some of those searches so that you can reach your target audience, make top-quality placements, and stand out from the competition.
Unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly difficult to accomplish in today’s oversaturated professional landscape – which is why many businesses focus on bringing the audience to them by creating strong inbound marketing strategies.
At it’s most basic, inbound marketing is all about attracting the audience that you want by creating high-quality, relevant content that speaks to their interests, answers their questions, and solves their most pressing pain points. This is usually accomplished through a network of tools and strategies, including:
- Content marketing
- User-generated content (UGC)
- Paid advertisements
- Social media
When it’s done correctly, It’s a stellar methodology, and – statistically speaking – it’s much more effective than traditional outbound marketing at increasing traffic, improving ROI, building trust and creating long-term, delighted return customers and brand advocates.
That said, getting it right is often easier said than done, and many businesses wind up feeling like they’re just spending major time, manpower, and resources without getting the results they’re looking for.
That’s where focusing on crowd-marketing and leveraging social media can really make a difference.
The Solution: Social Media and Crowd-Marketing
First Thing’s First: Why Focus on Social Media For Recruiting?
Newsflash: just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come.
Even if you have the most informative, relevant content out there, your audience simply won’t see it if you don’t figure out a way to get on their radar and present it in an interesting, easily-consumable fashion.
That’s why you have to optimize your methods of content distribution and go where your audience already is to truly make an impression and get the traffic and the ROI that you’re looking for.
That’s where social media can really come in and amplify your efforts. Here’s why it should be considered a star player for your business and marketing today:
It’s a Traffic-Building Juggernaut
There are more people on social media than practically anywhere else on the internet. In fact:
- Twitter has 330m active monthly users
- There are more than 450m users on LinkedIn
- Instagram has more than 800m users
- Facebook has on average 1.47 billion active users
- 64% of the population in the US – and 53% of the population in Europe – are on social media
And these people aren’t just liking photos and catching up with friends; they’re reading reviews, buying products, and looking for jobs. On top of that, what they find on social media is shaping their behaviors and their decisions. In fact:
- 46% of web users look towards social media when making a purchase.
- 3 out of 4 B2B buyers rely on social media to engage with peers about buying decisions
- Word-of-mouth recommendations from peers influence over 90% of all B2B buying decisions.
- 79% of job seekers use social media in their job search, and this figure increases to 86% of younger job seekers who are in the first 10 years of their careers.
These numbers should be a huge call to action.The message? Get your content on social media and recognize it as a pivotal form of marketing and engagement. No matter who your target persona is, they are on these platforms and they’re looking for great content to show up on their timeline — all you have to do is provide it for them to increase your traffic and your audience base.
It Will Save You Time and Money
Many forms of traditional marketing – including paid advertisements and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns – require a significant investment when it comes to time, money, and internal bandwidth.
Sure, you can keep the cost fairly low if you know what you’re doing, but no matter what the numbers will add up as you scale and increase your reach, and the process will always be nuanced and labor-intensive.
With social media, those same barriers aren’t present. It’s free and it can be set up and automated with relative ease, which means that focusing on social media can save you thousands of dollars of lots of internal bandwidth.
It Builds Customer Trust and Brand Reputation
Audiences today don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to, and they will quickly bounce from any site, email, ad, or social media page that they deem too “salesy” or that doesn’t provide personalized information, relevant content, and top-of-the-line customer service.
You have to rise to the occasion and meet their expectations if you want to succeed. First, that means showing your audience that your company is the real deal and that you can provide the personalized, authentic experience they’re looking for. And this is extremely important:
- On average, marketers see a 20% increase in sales when using personalized experiences.
- 79% of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized to reflect previous interactions the consumer has had with the brand.
- 71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.
How do you prove your authenticity to them in a way that they’ll actually believe? Reviews. Use your social media to leverage the power of rating and reviews and build your brand and your personal recruiter brand’s reputation. Here’s why it’s important: 70% of consumers say that business service reviews (recruiting services, agencies) are as or more important than reviews of personal services (home contractors, babysitters). On top of that, a full 72% of buyers will take action only after reading a positive review.
So make sure that you’re using the space to show your reviews and build social proof. After all, the best companies and the best talent want to work with the best recruiters – and this is a clear and easy way to showcase your expertise.
Now that we’ve explained the why behind social media, let’s discuss how to put all of this information into action and create a presence that will build traffic and customers.
That’s where crowd-marketing comes in.
The Best Way to Utilize Social Media: Crowd-Marketing
The Basics: What is Crowd-Marketing and Why Does It Work
The big trick is to leverage social media on as fine a level as possible, and that’s done through crowd-marketing. At its most basic, crowd-marketing is applying social media and content marketing at a per recruiter level rather than on a traditional company or branch level.
This can massively amplify your inbound candidate traffic and your leads in a way that typical agency marketing just can’t.
Think about it: people follow other people much more than they follow official company accounts, they trust people more than they trust organizations, and they want to hear personalized voices and insight much more than impersonal messages or generalizations. On top of that, they appreciate talking to people who really know their stuff.
That means that you’ll get more organic inbound lead quantity – and, as a result, more qualified engagement, followers, and ROI – if you use crowd-marketing and consistent, relevant posts to become a collective team of influencers in your industry.
In fact, you can easily 10x your agency marketing simply by filtering marketing down to a per-consultant/recruiter level.
Here’s how the numbers shake out:
You can literally multiply your marketing reach by the number of recruiters in your business if everyone is on-board. So, if your agency has 10 consultants, and each of them has 5000 connections on LinkedIn, that’s 50,000 LinkedIn followers that are exposed to your brand and your agency’s message.
And it doesn’t stop there – you also have to take into account 2nd and 3rd level connections to understand your total reach. My 8562 first connections on LinkedIn, for example, turn into 605,696 2nd tier connections.
This is a massive number, and it illustrates just how effective crowd-sourcing can be at increasing your organic reach and getting your content out there without requiring any additional investment or time. It’s just a matter of how you share and who you use to share.
Getting It Right: How to Effectively Utilize Crowd-Marketing Today
Here’s how to effectively apply crowd-marketing to your agency to maximize your audience, traffic, and potential leads.
What Social Platforms To Use
The top 4 social channels that are productive for attracting inbound clients and talent leads are:
- LinkedIn: Arguably the most relevant platform for staffing agencies, LinkedIn is a place for intellectuals and professionals to connect, which makes it the perfect space for super-informative long-form copy, infographics, company news, and professional content.
- Twitter: Twitter is the most “conversational” of the four, and you can get the most organic engagement without using hashtags. This makes it a great place to post blogs, news stories and GIFS.
- Facebook: This is where you build your brand and create a community and a larger conversation with your audience, which makes Facebook ideal for videos and other curated content.
- Instagram: It’s all about the visuals here. Use Instagram to post processional photos, behind-the-scenes images, engaging quotes, or humanizing storeis.
Keep in mind that each platform tends to have its own particular audience – which means that posting on all 4 should increase your overall reach and engagement – and that users across the board are looking for authentic, helpful messaging and engagement.
That said, if you had to choose just one to focus on, the standout for staffing agencies is LinkedIn. LinkedIn drives more than half of all social traffic to B2B blogs and sites, and, unlike with the other platforms, its users are there for a clear purpose: connecting with other professionals. On top of that, 50% of B2B buyers already use LinkedIn when making purchase decisions.
That makes it a great place to focus your crowd-marketing efforts and find qualified leads.
What Type of Content to Post
When it comes to social media and content strategy, the only constant is that there is no constant and no silver bullet strategy: companies are always innovating and figuring out new ways to push the digital experience envelope, and customers are soaking it in and always on the lookout for the latest and greatest. So how do you differentiate and stand out from the competition?
Focus on the form and the quality of your content.
The Best Form: Interactive Media
The human brain processes visual information 60% faster than text, which makes interactive media more scientifically appealing than standard content. On top of that, consumers today just love pictures, videos, infographics, and GIFS – which means that incorporating interactive media into your social marketing strategy is absolutely essential if you want to capture reader attention, increase engagement, and differentiate your content.
And it really works. On average, visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content, posts on Linkedin that contain images have a 98% better comment rate, and posts with links have a 200% higher engagement rate.
Here’s how to get started with interactive media:
- Quizzes and surveys: While they don’t necessarily boost sales, quizzes and surveys are great for increasing engagement and better understanding your consumers. Embed them on your website or include links in social posts to get them out there.
- Videos and GIFS: Static content doesn’t always engage and it doesn’t show personality. Video and GIF does. Share pertinent updates or give them a behind-the-scenes look at your brand or your company.
- User-generated content: 97% of B2B buyers say that user-generated content, like user reviews, is more credible than other types of content. Feature your users’ thoughts, experiences, and photos on your feeds (you can even have recruiters share their real success stories) to add a profound sense of personalization and authenticity to your online presence.
- Infographics: This is the best way to tell a story, get a lot of information out there, and share a lot of substance about your brand, your industry, and what people need to know.
The Highest Quality: Clear, Personalized, and Relevant
We’ve already talked a lot about content, quality, and customer expectations today, and we’ve established that audiences today expect content that’s relevant, clear, interesting, and consistent. That said, it’s important to clearly define your brand voice, your core messages, and what makes you unique and interesting within your niche or your industry so you can consistently share that across your messages and platforms.
And keep your messages concise. To this end, always keep your audience in mind and make sure that your content is relevant to the audience that you are trying to attract. If you’re a sales recruiter, for example, make sure that you’re sharing useful information in the sales industry, etc.
Recruiterly can help you achieve all of this on a single platform so you can get started with your crowd-marketing efforts today.